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Your new Trinity Disability Service in Printing House Square

We are pleased to share with you the plans for the brand new Disability Service that will open in 2021. This will be part of a bigger development called Printing House Square (PHS), PHS will include 248 student residential rooms, 9 of which will be fully enabled, a new Health Centre and new Sports facilities (Rifle range, Squash and Badminton courts).

Printing House Square, designed by architects McCullough Mulvin, will transform this part of Trinity and the old Printing House into a dynamic hub of student activity at the centre of the main Trinity campus. Located off Pearse street PHS will be close to the new Trinity Business School and will be surrounded by historic squares (Botany Bay and New Square). This will totally transform the Pearse Street side of Trinity, shifting the centre of gravity eastwards, as Trinity develops towards the Grand Canal area of Dublin.

This webpage will introduce you to the plans for the new Disability Service in Printing House Square and outline the timeline for the project. It will also give you a glimpse of what the building will look like, so that you can explore the new spaces before it opens.

Trinty disAbility IDentity Project

Trinity disAbility IDentity project logo

The Disability Service will be moving to its new state-of-the-art home, Printing House Square, in 2021. As part of this move we have embarked upon the ‘Trinity disAbility IDentity project’. The aims of this project include:

  • Creating a clear and accepted identity for disability support in Trinity.
  • Ensuring that students have a say in what the unit will do and how it will function.
  • Naming of meeting spaces after famous Trinity students with disabilities.
  • Opening spaces to the disability community for out of hours use e.g. Autism social groups, disabled activist meeting spaces.
  • Commissioning a Disabled Art Project for the new square.
  • Ensuring that spaces remain student-centred.

Trinity disAbility IDentity Project Timeline

Extensive consultation has taken place since 2019. Below is an overview of the steps that have taken place to date:

  • March 2019: Name change consultation through a college wide survey that included students, staff and the Trinity community.
  • April 2019: Survey results presented to TCD Student Union and discussion forum held.
  • October 2019: Survey results presented to students with disabilities, TCDSU and Disability Ambassadors as part of Disability Awareness week and discussion forum held.
  • October 2019: Presentation to Student Life Committee.
  • November 2019: Presentation to the Equality Committee.
  • February 2020: Consultation with Trinity Marketing.
  • February 2020: Second presentation to Student Life Commitee.
  • March 2020: Second presentation to the Equality Committee.
  • Ongoing: Design ideation, branding and consultation with all stakeholders, staff, students and the wider community.
  • September 2020: A Presentation to the Executive Officers Group will mark the final step in this process.

Trinity disAbility IDentity Project Consultation Process

Trinity is fully committed to the social model of disability, which is a useful tool for explaining the challenges presented to people with disabilities by their external environment, as well as, a practical strategy for developing inclusive service provision in Trinity. It theorises disability as a product of the barriers individuals face as a result of environmental and attitudinal factors, rather than situating the problem with the individual.

The Disability Service never fully advertised its name in its current location (Room 2054, Arts Building), as some students reported not liking / feeling comfortable identifying with the label of 'disability'. As we begun planning our move to our new home in Printing House Square we asked the Trinity community to help us decide on a potential new name.

We carried out a survey in March 2019 in which we asked the Trinity community to tell us their ideas for our new name. Over 1000 people replied and whilst the results were inconclusive there was a strong appetite for change. At the same time, however, there was also a recognition that 'disability' is an integral aspect of the name and that it is used in all fora in which the service is discussed.

Survey Results

Please review the presentation of the full findings of the survey linked here.

About our new name: Trinity disAbility Hub

Trinity disAbility Hub logo
  • disAbility: describes the activity being provided yet focuses on the positive aspect of the term, ‘Ability’. It allows individuals to choose where they place the emphasis based on their preference.
  • Hub: will be based at the centre of this new hive of activity and will become the point on the Trinity campus from which all disability related activity/enterprise will emanate.

Trinity disAbility Hub @ Printing House Square will:

  • Be a ‘hub’ that will become known for user led best practice in disability support and resources. Student partnership and  mutual learning and the raising of awareness for disability related issues will be key.
  • Be a multi-stakeholder engagement dynamic space, a collaborative platform, that will provide an environment that will foster the social inclusion of individuals with disabilities and promote innovation in inclusion, diversity and sustainability.
  • Become (supporting approximately 10% of the student population) a hive of activity and creativity, a hub for best practice in disability support, student partnership and disability innovation and the point on the Trinity campus from which all disability related enterprise will emanate.

If you would like to input any further ideas for our new space, please feel free to contact us at

Student Internship role in the Disability Service

Critical to our ongoing success is engaging students as equal players in the development of the Disability Service. Students know best and can play a critical role in the design of services and activities. Over the years we have developed strategic partnerships with the Student Unions both undergraduate and postgraduate. This has allowed us to work together towards the common aim of ensuring that the whole university responds to include students with disabilities in all elements of the community. This has been very beneficial to our students.

To facilitate this partnership in 2020 an SU Intern role was formed with the present SU Disability Officer working with us to develop the disAbility Co-Op and support student engagement in all activities for the upcoming academic year.

Trinity Ability co-op formation

In the summer of 2020 the Trinity Ability co-op was formed to show evidence of the Disability Service's commitment to the Trinity Student Partnership agreement. A student Intern has been tasked with working with the students with disability body to form this exciting concept and develop within Printing House Square.

A Linkedin blog on the development of the co-op will be written weekly by the SU Intern.

View the disAbility Hub Student Co-op presentation for the initial ideas on the formation of the Co-op.

Disabled Leaders

As the Disability Service transitions to Printing House Square there will be rooms named after disabled Trinity graduates that have shown great examples of leadership and activism. Check out the series of interviews that Courtney McGrath of the Trinity Ability Co_op recorded with these graduate leaders below.

Our Sustainability Plan

Trinity College Dublin is committed to being a global leader in university sustainability and is a certified European ‘Green Flag’ campus since 2013.

Each student and staff member is heartily encouraged to employ environmentally preferable habits both on and off campus, in order to minimise our collective environmental impact, thus creating a more just, healthy and verdant world to live in. The Trinity Disability Service is fully committed to being leaders in sustainability and will follow, and lead on, Trinity’s sustainability programmes. When we move to Printing house Square in 2021 we will further this ambition by doing the following:

A Green Team We are all signed up to being sustainable and educating by example. Sharing our learning from being in a digitally transformed working environment that is ergonomically designed to meet the varying needs of our college community.

Green Flag

Going Paperless & Going Printless in Printing House Square Trinity DisAbility Hub will be paperless. Staff will have use of technology only when we move to Printing House Square. For the past five years we have been working on being fully, digitally, transformed. All of our paper files have been scanned and/or shredded. All student information is now stored in the Trinity student information system (SITS)l. All memos and documents are circulated securely via MS Office 365 and Onedrive. We will have no printing facilities in our offices and will have a high specification scanner for students to scan any paper they bring to our offices.

Ditching the Plastic All staff will have their own reusable cups, water bottles, and cooking utensils. Our offices will have a water filtration systems to provide fresh water.

No bins No paper equals no bins. All staff will be expected to think about any food they bring into our space and try to be sustainable in what the eat/cook while also considering the waste they generate.

Un-Plugging It All staff will work in an open-planned environment. A clear-desk policy will be in operation. To help reduce energy usage staff will be reminded to turn off all computers, scanners, and other electronics that do not need to be left on at the end of the day. Computers will be set to energy efficient modes with monitors set to shut off during periods of inactivity.

Sustainable Trinity

Lighting Adjustments Adjusting when and how we use lighting in our office makes a big impact on our energy usage. We will make sure to switch off lights when leaving a room (or install motion sensors in toilets) and use natural light as often as possible as an alternative.

Good ergonomics As we work with people with disabilities with many differing needs we want to ensure our hub will have good design in all its spaces, offices, and meetings rooms. All rooms will be equipped with state of the art inclusive designs catering for differing needs. This will allow us to show by example what is possible in all of the types of office or study settings our customers will be working within. Our ergonomic guides will be updated to capture the hybrid way of working and to assist those needing good information as we learn from our changing experiences.

Open plan To maximise the usability and efficiency of our space we will have bookable meeting rooms available to both students and staff. In addition, we expect disability graduates to utilise our space by booking our meeting rooms and shared spaces. The wider disability community will be encouraged to use our disability hub to host meetings and events.

A Green Commute Staff will be encouraged to cycle or walk to work if at all possible or to use public transport. Showering facilities will be available in Printing House Square for staff who green commute.

What the DS Building will look like

The building will be over two floors in the centre of the three accommodation blocks. The main entrance will be at ground level (see floor plans below) and two offices will be located on this floor. It is planned that the DS Solution Drop-in by situated in the larger office.

Below the ground floor (down either the stairs or accessible lift) the main space will have an open plan layout (see floor plans below) and six meeting rooms bookable by the multi-disciplinary team to meet with students during the day.

Printing house square ground floor layout Printing house square lower floor layout

Video Walkthrough